Calls for significant policy development to deal with a rapidly aging U.S. population have been steady for over twenty years now. Like so many other areas of social welfare provision, however, this one remains sorely neglected. But demographic trends are relentless, and unless we're prepared to let older people simply "die in place," something's got … Continue reading What to do with the old and poor?
It's a commonplace that poverty is a major detriment to health. But what about income and wealth inequality, apart from poverty per se? Both cross-national studies and ones focused specifically on the United States arrive at the same definitive conclusion - Inequality in and of itself is harmful to your health. In the U.S., people … Continue reading Inequality makes people sick
What's a beleaguered fossil fuel industry to do, what with growing and increasingly organized protests and demands to "keep it in the ground," lawsuits from every direction, divestment movements, and the like? Clamorous insistence from young people that governments take radical and urgent action to confront the climate crisis is especially troubling to some of … Continue reading Fossil fuel industry is resourceful, in so many ways…
The history of social work's role in disaster response is already a long one. While the formal literature still seems a bit scanty, there's clearly been an increase of attention to the topic over the past two decades - no surprise, given the surge in disaster frequency, and the numbers of people affected, due to … Continue reading Social work and disaster management
It may be impossible to tell from mainstream media sources, but issue organizing and protest has been on the rise in the U.S. for more than a decade, dating to at least the 2008 financial meltdown. Early on it was the Tea Party and the Occupy movement (both of which did grab their share of … Continue reading 2020 will likely see escalating organizing and protest in the U.S.
Aiming to address two global mega-trends - aging populations and urbanization - the World Health Organization released its guide to assessing and improving the "aging friendliness" of urban communities in 2005. Put generally, WHO contends that an age-friendly city will encourage active aging by adapting its structures and services to include older people with varying … Continue reading WHO’s aging-friendly communities guide turns 15 in 2020
It's not news that economic displacement is linked with higher death rates among people suffering it - however distressing it remains that our economic system is a virtual engine of displacement, with scant help afforded its victims. But now a study just published by JAMA Internal Medicine specifically links auto plant closings and opioid overdose … Continue reading Plant closings and opioid deaths are closely connected
Too few in the various movements attempting to address the climate crisis make a direct connection between climate and U.S. militarism. Peace activist Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink (https://www.codepink.org) is one of the more notable exceptions. Benjamin identifies at least 10 points of connection. Here are just the first five: The U.S. military provides protection … Continue reading The Evil Twins of Climate Crisis and Militarism
As overlapping political, economic, and ecological crises deepen, the ability of people in localized community to meet their needs through mutual aid is growing in importance, and may well become the very linchpin of survival, to borrow Bill McKibben's phrase, "on a tough new planet." In one form or another, mutual aid - people exchanging … Continue reading Social work should be promoting mutual aid networks
The "Protecting the Right to Organize Act," sponsored by U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Bobby Scott, is a vital piece of legislation that could do wonders for union organizing in this country. Union organizing – what's good about that? Quite a lot, actually. While it’s arguable that the U.S. economy has worked well enough … Continue reading America needs to facilitate union organizing